Aside from maybe The Beatles, you could never imagine another documentary working as well as Springsteen & I does with any other musician. The idea is simple enough: fans of Bruce Springsteen submitted short videos of themselves talking about their favorite Bruce memories, what he means to them, or simply the words they use to describe him. The result is surprisingly sincere and heartfelt without coming across as overtly fawning.
The film intersects self-shot interviews with live shots of jersey’s favorite son playing throughout the years. Some of the remembrances are laugh-out-loud funny, like the fan from Denmark who takes Springsteen’s songs about cunnilingus (“Red Headed Woman”) as the ultimate love song; or sweet, like a British fan recalling how he and his wife scrimped and saved to come to a show at Madison Square Garden and were shocked to be handed front row seats by a Springsteen associate who plucked them out of the cheap seats. But the most touching are the stories of those who were lonely, lost or in pain and the earnest descriptions of how Springsteen’s music brought them back from the brink. The emotions are genuine and remind us just how important music can be to healing.
Yes, there are a slew of talented bands out there with legions of hardcore fans, but you’d be hard-pressed to find many that bring up such powerfully strong emotional connections to fans across the globe, young and old. There’s a reason the nickname the Boss has stuck for so long.
Springsteen & I (DVD)